Every small town has that one creepy house, graveyard or abandoned lunatic asylum. West Milford has the mysterious Clinton Road and the equally spooky Clinton Castle. Rumors said that it was built in the 1600s by some heretic settler who spent his nights in debauched activities with the local virgins and livestock. It was actually built 1907—in 1600s the only people in the area where Ramapough Indians and a handful of Dutch settlers. But that’s not a creepy story. Except many for the Ramapough.
Long story short – Clinton Castle burned down, the land was turned over to the Newark Watershed and the Castle and the surrounding property was left undeveloped. With the abandoned, burned out remains of the Castle standing over the pristine Clinton reservoir, the surrounding woods became the playground for Satanists, witches, Nazis or the KKK, least that’s the scuttlebutt. People said that there was a demonic presence that cast a deadly vibe over the area. Hogwash if you ask me.
Oh, I am sure there was some “Satanic” activities going on up there. By that I mean a bunch of 17 year old headbangers taking a midnight drive to the Castle for some Motley Crue, a Anton LeVay Satanic Bible reading, beer pong and mutual masturbation (but not in a gay way… kind of like Liberace was not in a gay way).
Every West Milford kid was obliged to have a Clinton Castle and/or Road experience – kind of like all New Jersians are required by law to be a Springstein fan. Since it was the law, one beautiful September afternoon, Johnny (not his real name) drove me up to the Castle. (Being that my tale was on a beautiful September afternoon and not midnight on Samhain, you know this isn’t going to be creepy.)
Johnny may have had an ulterior motive driving me up on that lovely afternoon. If he scared me with tales of devil worshippers or Nazis, I would turn to him for comfort and maybe let him touch my boob. That was not going to happen. I liked Johnny’s friend, Ben (not his real name, either). Johnny was a drummer, Ben played guitar…really, what self-respecting bubbling 16-year old girl would take a drummer or a guitar player. Not this one. Until Ben switched to the bass, then it was over. (Ben would often regale me with tales of his sexual adventures – for a 17 year old, he was quite adventurous, and slightly gay – in a Liberace sort of way.)
Back to Clinton Castle on that lovely September afternoon: Johnny started to see that his plan for afternoon dry humping was not gonna happen when, instead of being afraid, I was like, “ooohhhhh, pretty.” He jumped right into his tale from Clinton Castle. It goes something like this: The local satanic cult (aka drug-addled Ozzy fans with slightly homosexual tendencies) where having their ritual at the Castle (see: Black Sabbath tape and a big bag o’ weed). The high priest Kevin was all set. He was the high preist because he was 21 and could buy beer: thus “High Priest”. (He really was a “high” priest – see next paragraph.)
Any who…. here’s what happened, according to Johnny:
Our teenaged “devil worshippers” had piled into their moms’ station wagons and taken that long drive up Route 23 to the dark, mysterious, badly paved Clinton Road. Over the reservoir and through the woods, these bad boys hiked up to the Castle for all the evilness.
Kevin had really exceeded his high priest duties that night by bringing not just the beer and black t-shirt, but also the LSD. Once ensconced at the Castle and with Ozzy singing about the Dark One, the mind-altering badness commenced with High Priest Kevin quoting Anton LeVay (“It’s good to be bad,” “Christianity is crap,” “I like puppies”.) Moved by the happenings, one of the revealers, Mark, began having visions.
Johnny told me this story with complete seriousness – like he was channeling Stephen King: “Mark dropped all this LSD ….and….saw…Satan…in ….Kevin’s….FACE.”
I said, “Ummmmmmmm…what was the first part of that sentence?”
Johnny replied, “Mark dropped all this LSD?”
Me: “Ummmmmmmmm, may that have had something to do with the satanic vision?”
Johnny, shaking his head emphatically, said, “Nooooooo. It was the dark magic.”
No, Johnny, it was hogwash. And when you told me that you gave another guy a platonic little bro-to-bro blow job, that’s gay – in a Liberace sort of way.